INAUGURAL LECTURE MANUFACTURING; Where from and where to? Prof. Z. Katz Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Rand Afrikaans University I once read that a Japanese calligrapher said that the most important moment in calligraphy is when you sit down in front of the blank paper and move the brush to it. Once the brush has touched the paper, it will never the same again, and the first stroke determines to a large extent the final character. Therefore, the calligrapher will sit for a long time in front of the white paper contemplating how he will proceed. And so, he said, this moment of contemplation is often accompanied by a certain sense of anxiety. When I was preparing myself for this presentation, I understood what the calligrapher meant. I was asked by a nice young lady to present an inaugural lecture but she left me free to say what I wanted. I felt as if I have been put in front of a big white paper. What did I want to say, what did you want to hear and what was an appropriate title? After a long thinking I finally chose as the title: 'Manufacturing - where from and where to?". It seemed quite appropriate to me though I never knew who is going to listen and how interested are they in this topic. Since Manufacturing is what I know best, it is good enough to me. As for the audience, I promise to be brief and clear and present a message. So, to start with, one should go to the beginning . "In the beginning God CREATED the heaven and the earth" (Genesis 1: I) "And God said: Let us MAKE man in our image after our likeness ..." (Genesis 1:26) "And God CREATED man in His own image ..." (Genesis 1:27) "Then the Lord God FORMED man of the dust of the gromid ..." (Genesis 2:7) - Every material thin that was eventually to exit was derived from what was created in the first instant of creation, never to be repeated. From that mass of pure energy and substance, stones and galaxies and hrunans were formed. - The creation in the case of Adam was new only in the spiritual way via the addition of the 'soul', the 'spirit of God', God therefore made and formed man physically and created his spiritually. So, we see that 'Manufacturing goes back a long way. From its early existence man has tried to make things, initially mainly for survival (tools and weapons) and later for his own advancement according to its culture, ambitions and environment. A whole process of 'making' things has been initiated and developed from antiquity to the modem world. This process will continue as long as the human race will continue to develop and advance. This is the essence of Manufacturing. The pursuit of productivity based on the concepts of organization of work and division and performance of production tasks is as old as mankind. Such initial developments were structured around farming families and their feudal lords. As production exceeded immediate needs, the development in economy and growth of markets let in turn to increased production and greater level of specialization. From antiquity this specialization (expertise) was quite extensive. In the pottery industry it was common in Roman Gaul for the production workshop to be in one location while the decoration of pots was carried out elsewhere. Same applies to our ancestors more massive achievements such as the pyramids, the great cathedrals and the Greek and Roman temples all representing remarkable examples of organization of labour, logistics and management. The middle ages gave rise to a series of remarkable inventions that were of practical use for manufacturing/production methods. The windmill, which allowed a new kind of energy to be harnessed appeared in the 10th century and the first design of a water mill dates from 1270. The iron furnace developed in the 10th century followed in the 13th century by the introduction of the smelting process. The wheelbarrow is also a 13th century invention, as were the spinning wheel and the candle. The period saw the development of clock-making and subsequent developments in miniaturization resulted in the case-clocks being produced in the 15th century. This phase of our history represents significant attempts at adaptation to external constraints. In antiquity, slavery meant that there was always an abundant workforce for any purpose, no matter how big, how costly or how important, and therefore it was very little incentive for technical progress. In the Christian Middle Ages, however, Church dictated that only infidels could be reduced to slavery, providing incentive for the creation of new production/manufacturing methods or processes, and the first attempts, of "assisted manufacturing" or "automation" were made. The Renaissance, in addition to its artistic achievements, saw a continuation of the scientific work; since less pressure from the Church enabled the continuation of research based around man and his resources. A remarkable example of the ferment of ideas is from people such as Leonardo da Vinci which leaves one with a strong impression that those ideas were lacking in only two basic points: an industrial foundation and a source of motive power. The latter was soon to be made available through new inventions - the water wheel giving way to the steam engine, which was in industrial use by about 1700 and was gradualli transformed, resulting in about 1776 in James Watt's two stroke engine. This was the period which saw the advent of many technical inventions and innovating which brought about the transition from purely manual labour to mechanized manufacturing introducing the first Industrial Revolution. Products, materials, tools, processes and machines interacted to create more progress. The period saw the development of lathes and drills, milling machines and new forming techniques and equipment, all driven by belts attached to a central power source, usually a steam engine. The growth of industry during this period is reflected in the appearance of large mines, foundries and the first factories for transforming raw materials. The concept of cost effectiveness developed with increasing use of machines in the manufacturing process, where heavy investment in machinery could only be justified by an increased rate of production. As automation become more reliable, the pursuit of cost-effectiveness led to intensive use of the workforce and the consequent appearance of the first social conflicts which still affects our lives socially and politically to this day. A new constraints-working conditions, has to be taken into account in the industriallproductionlmanufachlring strategy. Most inventions of that time were made without direct intervention of science. They were the fruits of the work of inventors and engineers. Only hesitantly did the academic science rnmed its hand to technical development work and the engineering sciences which grew out of this, did not receive recognition as such until the beginning of the 20th century. Much is still debated in this direction even to this day. One of the most cnlcial developments in manufachlring technology has been the decentralization of the power source made possible by the internal combustion engine - 1892 - as well as the electric motor. These inventions provided the means to multiply productivity of the work force leading to the explosion of mechanization referred as the second industrial revolution. This revolution was dominated by a megatrend : automation resulting from mass production and leading to manufacturing chains. Production of identical parts that could be integrated into complete units dates from about 1800. The most famous application of this principle was its use by Henry Ford in the assembly of his cars. This was followed by the ultimate points in the development of mass production - the replacement of humans by machines, giving rise to fears for security of employment in the 1950's, and later to problems such as man/machine relationships, rate of introduction of new technologies, the inferest in work, market development and finally the remarkable concept of competitiveness. With the development of the micro-chip and micro processor we finally see a decentralization of 'intelligence' which enables the manufacturing to be automated even further, by delegating the decision making processes to programmable and intelligent machines. This is the midst of the Third Industrial revolution in which we find ourselves at the present. We are now developing machines which are much faster and more accurate. Man, though slower and less accurate, remains at present more creative. The question is for how long. This depends now on the future constraints, demands and consequent developments. The current heightened interest in Manufacturing is long overdue. Because manufacturing has not been viewed as an intellectual challenge, its intellectual base has not expanded as the products being manufactured have increasingly become more complex. The Manufacturing enterprise is lmdergoing fundamental change. It both uses and produces sophisticated technology. It is as much a software as it is a hardware system. The human factors aspect is gaing in importance. We need now to look at manufacturing as an integrated system and optimize it as a total process from product design to marketing. Just at the time that manufacturing is still given in places, including our own, low priority, the world economy is undergoing dramatic changes. Global competition has intensified. It is not only just for commercial markets. In basic research and even education. Nations are now recognizing the validity of a strategy that top research Universities can be genesis for R&D intensive companies. The commitment to strengthen the basic research in Manufacturing and the establishment of technopolis in Japan, centers for production technology in Germany and Research Centres in Manufacturing in the USA are direction signs. Are we listening? Are we planning? or are we adopting a defensive strategy, blaming socio/political aspects, low productivity and Rand values, lack of educational policy and lack of interest from Industry? Let us just consider the Universities. Manufacturing programmes have only recently begun to develop with no accredited Manufacturing disciplines. Some researchers are still skeptical of the intellectual challenge and concerned that the relevance to Industry needs might be misunderstood by their peers. To make progress, the University system must recognize the value of investigating relevant problems and encourage research in those areas. In a multidisciplinary area such as Manufacturing which cuts across the disciplinary stnlcture of universities, is it especially critical that staff and students are provided with opportunities to move outside the bOlmdaries of traditional disciplines and work with people having different perspectives. The Industrial sector has an immediate and long tenn-challenges. It has to draw industries together, implement new offensive strategies in Research and Development and strive continuously in establishing high quality, competitive and novel products. Present lack of contact and communication between Universities and Industry is indicative of serious future problems. There is need to establish a sense of national priority in Manufacturing, and Manufacturing research and education. The alternatives are not very attractive for all of us. Technical and scientific progress moves in two directions. On one hand, new scientific knowledge develops new products and processes while on the other, new demands generates new discoveries. Demand is presently stimulated by social development and legislations. Environmental issues affects the consumption of materials and energy which must fall with an expected increased intelligence in products and manufacturing. The efficiency and success of today's economics are based on creativity (not comparable with the unique event of "Creation"), innovation and flexibility. The recent developments of new technologies such as : the numerically controlled machines without which flexibility cannot exist, micro-electronics being indispensable to the development of manufacturing and the computer - the 'controller' of future modem manufacturing systems. At present, manufacturing is a global main 'creator' of wealth, crucial to advancement of developing and developed countries. Global competition becomes a serious trend and there is an international division of labour. For example, in labour intensive products manufacture, (South Africa is a good candidate) significant increase in productivity can not be obtained through capital investment and automation. This is not only true to textiles, leather goods or toys. It increasingly applies to high-tech products. If wages in Malaysian are a tenth of those in Germany and productivity is good, then it makes good business sense to take advantage of this fact. This could shift production and change entire economies. The goal of manufacturing at companies throughout the world is processmg orders sooner, faster without pausing for retooling. The buzzwords are : "lean manufacturing" to describe efftcient, unwasteful, less costly manuf~g~ "agile manufacturing" refers to a manufacturing system's speed in reconfiguring itself to meet changing demands, and 'flexible manufacturing' meaning the system's ability to adjust to customers preferences. Companies are putting now customer satisfaction first on their list of priorities. Giving the buyer the freedom to pick a product with the colour, size, shape and other features according to his wish, is in effect manufacturing 'a la carte'. A typical example is needed here, to elaborate: 'Bicycles on a personalized basis are manufactured in Japan (local consumption : 8 million a year) through a flexible manufacturing system that combines Computer Assisted Design and Manufacture, Computer controlled processing, advanced robots and skills of master craftsmen. A custom bicycle, personalized in terms of features requirement, is offered in over 11 million variations! This is more than one would expect from 'a la carte' menu in the best of restaurants. Behind this evolution of manufacturing capabilities are massive pressures for global competitiveness. Reduced product costs must go hand in hand with quality, fewer defects and reduced failure rate. Electro mechanical technologies and information technology are major contributors to these developments. Perhaps a few more words affecting the future development of manufacturing. Efficiency, in terms of a process which starts from placing of an order, through an efficient adaptation to customer specifications. Environment: As if global competition is not becoming too tough already, on the manufacturing scene, now it must perform within growing public concern to our planet's health. Industrial processes are monitored closely for pollution and products are increasingly expected to be energy efficient and easily recyclable. Companies are thinking 'grinner' at the design and manufacture stages, an approach that can be beneficial for companies and the environment. 'Economy' - Manufacturing, like any human activity is carried out and evolves within a large framework. Aspects such as corporate strategies, country's financial and assets markets, markets interactions, companies reorganization such as the present American 'downsizing' or the use of network technologies to recast whole organization from restructure of sequential design into concurrent engineering, draw suppliers into real-time product development, tap and integrate know-how in remote locations and reconstruct logistics throughout entire industrial sectors, point at a preview of the manufacturing of the 21 st century undergoing a metamorphosis whose final shape is as attractive as speculative. Education. Manufacturing has the need of a workforce. It is incorrect to assume that the future of manufacturing is in the hand of the computers, robots and autonomous systems. The future required skills might even exceed the possibility of only University education and may require much earlier involvement in technology. University programs vary enormously while strong emphasis worldwide on manufacturing programmes is becoming evident. An unusual example of a programme is the future professors program at Stanford at Ph.D level aimed at training future staff members in Manufacturing. Our own policies in this country related to technological education in general and Manufacturing education in particular are conservative, vague and not too promising. In places around the world, at times, the developing idea that scholarship and scientific and technological advances must be the lapdog of political correctness, could be rather damaging to the society and community. One last comment on the emerging new, undefined paradigm of complexity in manufacturing. There is an old joke about a dim manager who brags to his boss that their company is losing money on every sale, but making it up in volume. In the area of free technology, it is not so funny. With the production costs so low compared with the research and development costs, it could make sense to give stuff away in order to establish a market. Remember the recent give away of rasors to establish a market for the blades? This is the appearance of 'attention economy' in which the mind share could be the most valuable commodity. Tomorrow factories will perhaps sell customer gratifications, not things. What about the future? Will we reach another industrial revolution? What is motor moving future development in Manufacturing? There is little doubt that the world has advanced enOlTIlously in the last 5000 years. Unfortunately, this advancement has broadened the gap between people, societies and philosophies of life. The gap between the poor and the rich, the developed and developing etc. is increasing, generating enormous social implications, detrimental to the future of the human race. The creation of wealth is one of the solutions. Manufacture is an important means to achieve this. Its future development is of course highly dependent on the technological and scientific search for excellence. Manufacturing is the cornerstone of all economic activities and efforts to continuously advance manufacturing technologies are therefore vital to a richer and more stable future. Recently, however, socio economic changes have generated a number of problems common to industrialized and technologically emerging nations. These problems, which would threaten the foundation of a country's manufacturing industry and subsequently its wealth creation capability and socio economical and political future, are related to the following phenomena : Globalization of corporate activities. Changes in human factors such as short age of skilled labor and reluctance of young engineers to work in manufacturing industries (if they have a choice). Changes in market requirements including the diversified needs. Need to preserve natural resources and environment. Increased investment in R&D and advanced manufacturing systems. The next generation of flexible manufacturing systems that will integrate an entire spectrum of activities from research and development through orders booking, design, manufacturing, distribution and management, is the vision of future intelligent manufacturing systems, as the solution to such problems. It is now high time to take action on internationally common issues such as globalization of manufacturing and efficient transfer of manufacturing knowledge to the next generation. The hope is that a fusion of business, government and education policies will equip in this respect the young to work with the sophisticated manufacturing systems of the next century. Let's have a brief look at some possible scenarios. The factory of the future is such an example. Fully automated, highly intelligent, 'no-man' land, based on constant internal and external innovations, dynamic, ensuring factories with a future. The future is, technologically, extremely complex. New paradigms need to be worked on to deal with complex structures, uncertain environments or chaotic systems. What's 'cooking' now in manufacture for the future? A variety of exciting developments. Perhaps one item, if singled out and described, may give some indication of 'where we go' in Manufacture. Robotics or autonomous or intelligent systems are one of the 'sunrise' industries which are seen as potentially having major influences upon the future development of mankind. It includes interesting aspects related to manufacture in the future. Lets take the 'Artificial Intelligence'. A lot of misunderstanding has arisen concerning AI. Surely a machine cannot be intelligent because it can not write like Shakespeare, compose like Beethoven or think like Einstein. Even if this were certain (and one can contest it), the same criteria would, of course, imply that the majority of humans were also unintelligent. Another question: can a machine take a decision based on intuition? This begs the question: Is it possible for a computer based machine to take decisions which, if taken by a human, would indicate the use of intuition? to which the answer is: 'Why not'? Already many manufacturing aspects, from design to production, are based on 'expert systems' in which the knowledge of human experts is reduced to a set of rules to work out logical consequences. Sophisticated mobile robot will be a familiar sight in the unmanned factory of the future, strongly integrated in the manufacturing activities, optimized, smart, intelligent, responding, thinking, working in symphony with highly automated equipment, self optimizing and adaptive to processes, highly communicative, being so closely integrated that the complex units will essentially working as one. The ultimate question : Can such a complex manufacturing system be self reproductive? Self-production automation could consist of robot miners extracting raw materials from around the factory, refining and processing them into subassemblies. A separate manufacturing facility uses the components to construct finished products such as machine tools and .. new robots, reproducing at an exponential rate ... This superintelligent machines may by around sometimes, never? To believe in human superiority is a tradition. Once, our earth was the centre of the Universe now is an undistinguished planet. Once, our Creation was direct and divine, now some people think it is the 'good luck' of the primates. Once our intelligence was tmchallenged, yet someday computer based machines with biological infonnation processor, could be really smart. Beware of those who think it can never happen. On a second thought, there is nothing new under the sun. I wish to quote again from Genesis 11:4 ' And they said: 'Come, let us build us a city and a tower with its top in heaven'. And the Lord said: Behold, they are one people and they have all one language and this is what they begin to do; and now, nothing will be withholden from them, which they purpose to do. Coine, let us go down and there confOlmd their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.- So the Lord scattered them abroad upon the face of all Earth. And they left off to build the city .... ' Are we going to fast? Are we aiming to high? The future will tell.